Back in 2015, the Ontario government passed a new legislation which banned officers from randomly stopping citizens and carding them throughout the province. However, this past week, Torontonians are showing their concerns after migrants are reporting random ID checks by immigration officers throughout the city. Some residents claim that these officers are going around to ensure that these citizens are Canadian.
According to City News, a woman claims that her father was stopped on Monday afternoon near a convenience store near Lawrence and Weston. The woman claims that two immigration officers were going up to multiple people of colour in the area and taking them aside and asking to see their identifications.
She states that the officers asked for her father's ID to prove that he was legally in Canada. After the father provided them with his driver license, the officers accused him of lying. It was also reported that one officer even said "you don't look Portuguese" to the man before leaving.
City News states that they have confirmed with Canadian Border Services Agency that immigration officers were in this area during this time, but would not clarify what they were doing.
However, the Canadian Border Services Agency states that it "does not conduct random street checks."
Yet this isn't the only area where people are claiming that officers are randomly carding citizens. According to City News, multiple people have also complained about random carding in Windsor, where vans are often stopped traveling to and from work-sites.
Despite all this, according to the legislation that was passed in 2015, the action of randomly carding people throughout Ontario to check their citizenship is illegal.
According to CBC, a carding stop cannot be random or based on race or the neighborhood you live in. Officers must also inform citizens that stops are voluntary and that citizens have the right to walk away.
However, this legislation states that there are so exemptions in the rules, such as being able to ID citizens during routine traffic stops or when someone is being arrested.